Hong Kong officials have reportedly made their first arrest over cannabidiol (
Officials “found two more used bottles of the same CBD skin oil and four grams of cannabis buds from the man’s locker at the clubhouse of a residence in Yau Ma Tei on Wednesday,” the South China Morning Post
It was the first CBD-related arrest in Hong Kong, the outlet report, coming only a week after a new law went into effect. Possessing or consuming CBD products in Hong Kong can lead to a seven-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of HK$1 million.
Hong Kong CBD Ban in Action
Hong Kong “banned CBD as a ‘dangerous drug’ and imposed harsh penalties for its possession on Wednesday [February 1], forcing fledging businesses to shut down or revamp,”
The policy change has not been without controversy, with the South China Morning Post reporting that the new law prompted protests from individuals who viewed this as an overreach and overreaction from the government.
The South China Morning Post
“The new rule reflects a zero-tolerance policy toward dangerous drugs in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous southern Chinese business hub, as well as in mainland China, where CBD was banned in 2022,” the AP
The new ban represents a sharp difference between Hong Kong and many western countries, where CBD products have risen in popularity in recent years.
CBD in the West
In the United States, Congress legalized the industrial production of hemp with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which essentially made CBD legal in the country.
That same year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The administration said at the time that it was “the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana,” and “also the first FDA approval of a drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome.”
“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Ultimately, there’s a stark contrast between how the United States is inching toward